WASHINGTON — In this exclusive video from Emerging Trends in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Zobair M. Younossi, MD, MPH, FAASLD, chairman of the department of medicine at Inova Fairfax Hospital and vice president of research at Inova Health System, discusses topic highlights from the meeting, particularly steatohepatitis and future treatments.
“Although most patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are obese or overweight, there is a small group of patients, especially in the eastern countries and Asian countries, that have lean non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,” Younossi said. “The problem is that this disease can progress. The only way you can diagnose non-alcoholic steatohepatitis is by liver biopsy, which is an invasive procedure. This meeting actually summarized a number of clinical data that shows ... the clinical impact, the [economic] impact and the patient experience impact related to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.”
Other presentations focused on in-depth assessments of the pathways involved in the progressive form of NAFLD, newer noninvasive modalities being developed to predict progression without a liver biopsy and ongoing clinical trials for the treatment of NASH.
“Unfortunately, in 2017, there is not any approved drug for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Lifestyle modification, which is effective, but very hard to sustain, is the only modality that’s available. There are a number of phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials that are ongoing and hopefully within the next 5 years or so we’ll have drugs that will focus on patients that are at highest risk for mortality with NASH; those are the patients that have not only NASH, but also NASH with fibrosis.”
Disclosure: Younossi reports he is an advisor for Gilead, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Intercept, AbbVie and GlaxoSmithKline; and is a consultant for Gilead and Intercept.